Saturday, July 29, 2006

Club Beyond Service Project, Slovakia, 2006

Posting this entry was a hard one. We have over 800 photos from this week long service project, and we wanted to post every single one. Clearly, that wasn't an option. We hope you can make due with seven.

Amanda and I were part of a team of adults that took 23 high school kids to Slovakia for a week. We helped build a playground for a school that was lacking the funds to build one themselves. It was an amazing experience. We got to see God work in powerful ways on that playground, and many kids’ lives were changed because of it. By the end of the week, some of our high school kids who were unfriendly to each other at school were hugging each other and hanging out. Kids on the “outside” were suddenly on the inside. It was a beautiful thing.
Our group also made friends with many of the Slovakian kids in the town who came out to see us work every day. Most of the kids have never left their town, let alone seen an American – so we were quite the spectacle. The first day a small crowd watched. But as word got out, the crowd grew larger every day. We took turns breaking from work to play with them - playing tag, soccer, or just trying to speak to each other. (Some of them were very good at English.) We played soccer with them, and their 6th grade team whooped our team of high-schoolers and adult leaders! The principal also invited small groups of us into the English classes during the school day, so that we could play educational (ESL) games with them, and they could ask us questions.
At the end of the week, we had a large celebration to officially ‘open’ the playground, and the entire village showed up to enjoy the festivities. When we left, it was a teary goodbye on both sides of the fence.
This is what the site initally looked like. The thin stip of grass is the kids play area. Looks a bit different that what we grew up with, doesn't it?
The whole V-town crew after a great week.
A piece of the final project.
As a 'thank you', the school put together a program of traditional Slovakian song and dance for us on the final day celebration.
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1 comment:

K&A said...

Hi, Jim and Amanda:)Maybe you´re suprised that who wrote you. It's girls from school(Lubela) from Slovakia, where you have been. Last month we were looking for some page about Club Beyond and we found your blog. So we just want to say you big hallo and thank you for all, that you made for our previous school(we already go to grammar school).We miss you, because when you were here, we had a lot of fun.So we'd like to ask you:will you come this year again?Jim, you promised it!!!!;))We don't know, whether you remeber us,but Jim gave brown tie for one(she's got short black hair and glassess and it was in gym), and second gave the cake you(she's got long fair hair).We'd be happy, if you wrote us back. Our Have a nice day.Love Kajka and Ajka. P.S:Say hi to BENDER, Zack, Noel, Matt, Daniel, Kyle, Eric, Tim, Tom, Buddy, Peggy, Derrik, Austin, Ben, Gil, Will..........we dont't remember more names:)) bye 8)))